Put this into perspective:
The Cincinnati Bengals signed defensive end Michael Johnson to a four-year deal, allowing the team to navigate closer to the best player available (in positions of need) arena.
There's a growing sentiment that linebackers could be addressed early in the 2015 NFL draft. On the other hand, with Rey Maualuga re-upping and A.J. Hawk signing a two-year deal, even that seems a bit of a luxury -- though there is concern regarding Vontaze Burfict's recovery and the long-term implications with everyone else (save for Maualuga).
Based on expiring contracts after this season, the offensive line could be undergoing change. Offensive tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith are joined by guard Kevin Zeitler as potential free agents next year. Figure that the team will apply the fifth-year option on Zeitler, extend Whitworth a few more years and then let Smith walk (at least until the market reminds him that he doesn't have that much demand, like in 2013).
In his latest mock draft, Rob Rang (Sports Xchange and CBSSports.com) has the Bengals selecting Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat:
The Bengals have two solid tackles in Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith but each will be entering the final year of their contracts in 2015. The notoriously frugal Bengals may already be looking ahead to the future, especially if a talent like Peat falls into their lap.